• Network: Showtime
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 9, 2011
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 26
  2. Negative: 3 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jan 6, 2011
    100
    Shameless is excellent, compelling television from the first moment. As long as it stays true to the roots of the original, it's going to be essential viewing.
  2. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jan 4, 2011
    100
    Abbott makes sure the quirkiness of the Gallaghers is firmly rooted in three-dimensional, credible characterization. You never feel a bit of inauthenticity here.
  3. Reviewed by: Rick Porter
    Jan 9, 2011
    90
    While there's a little something lost in translation, the show retains enough of the core of the original that--bolstered by strong performances from top to bottom--it's as good a remake as any import since "The Office."
  4. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jan 6, 2011
    90
    [The] sentimental streak in the show is compensated by Frank's coldness and the scrappy urban realism, translated so effectively from the British original.
  5. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    Jan 6, 2011
    88
    The charm of the show--and of the Gallagher family--is in its anarchy.
  6. 80
    Shameless also has a rough and original charisma of its own, emphasizing as it does the freedom and not merely the deprivation of its family of quasi orphans.
  7. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jan 9, 2011
    80
    Don't let all this make the show sound complicated. Based on opening night, it looks like Shameless fun.
  8. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jan 9, 2011
    80
    That's Shameless in 30 seconds or less: messy, overcrowded, unapologetically frank and, at times, darkly funny.
  9. Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Jan 9, 2011
    80
    The one-hour show has as much comedy as drama, providing a satisfying and unusual viewing experience.
  10. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Jan 6, 2011
    80
    Shameless is deftly adapted and surprisingly appealing, crude, funny and also touching.
  11. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jan 6, 2011
    80
    In Showtime's seemingly unwatered-down version, William H. Macy plays the drunken dad, Frank Gallagher, convincingly enough that you can almost smell the alcohol (along with less-pleasant scents) seeping from every pore. (Other highlights include Joan Cusack as an agoraphobic homemaker whose life's about to change and Emmy Rossum as Fiona, the oldest of Frank's daughters.)
  12. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jan 9, 2011
    70
    It's best not to think of Shameless as a deep, important show. Tune in for the character drama and recognize the characters' anti-social behavior for what it is. There's no shame in that.
  13. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jan 6, 2011
    70
    The promising Shameless is a terrific showcase for Macy, Emmy Rossum, who plays Frank's daughter Fiona, and Joan Cusack, who plays the Gallaghers' neighbor. The show's younger cast members are also impressive; they have a low-key, realistic style that melds perfectly with the unforced truthfulness that Macy brings to his role
  14. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jan 11, 2011
    60
    Now and then Shameless sloughs off its mostly self-imposed constraints and fires on all cylinders, observing economic hardship, drunken tomfoolery and sexual shenanigans with a keen eye for class specifics.
  15. Reviewed by: Michael Abernethy
    Jan 9, 2011
    60
    All this worries Fiona, of course, and her compassion keeps Shameless--a remake of a hit British show--from being a glib mockery of poverty. She is the yin to Frank's yang, organized, focused, and efficient.
  16. Hamming it up big time, William H. Macy plays a booze-addled father of six kids in this uneven drama that seems more intent on taking its pay-cable liberties (nudity, profanity, etc.) to the extreme than weaving an engaging story.
  17. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jan 9, 2011
    50
    Shameless instead is about as uplifting as rectal cancer, even though it's hard not to at least respect the gumption and resilience of Fiona. Rossum's performance in this role is all together pretty terrific.
  18. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jan 7, 2011
    50
    It simply too often feels like an unconvincing portrait of poverty and the Gallaghers, like an English council-estate family plopped in the Midwest. The next two episodes depart more from the original, and suggest the series may find its own voice; on the other hand, they're not nearly as well written.
  19. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 7, 2011
    50
    Moments and characters like these take us out of the reality that Shameless otherwise aims to portray, falling victim to the pay-cable impulse to push the shock envelope just because it can. Which ultimately is less shocking than irritating. A shame, really.
  20. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jan 7, 2011
    50
    For all the show's flaws, you can see the attraction for an actor of Macy's quality, with the kind of showy, outsized role that wins awards. But as fine an actor as he is, Frank just comes across as loud and empty. Much like Shameless.
  21. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Jan 6, 2011
    50
    It's clear that Wells has nothing but respect for the original material; if only he felt the same for American viewers. Unfortunately, [executive producer John Wells] seems to have bought into the notion that Americans need everything to be bigger, louder, messier and drawn in primary colors.
  22. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jan 6, 2011
    50
    Some brief memorable performances, particularly Cusack as a tippling housewife. Otherwise, an inexplicable misfire.
  23. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jan 4, 2011
    50
    For the most part, there's nothing here to be ashamed of. It's just that at a time when TV drama is so flush with riches, Shameless plays like a poor relative.
  24. Reviewed by: Kris King
    Jan 7, 2011
    38
    While Frank's high jinks are good for a chuckle, and his love/hate relationship with his kids speaks a lot about the complicated nature of having a down-and-out family, Shameless tries too hard to milk weighty drama from generally dull characters.
  25. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jan 10, 2011
    25
    Exec producers John Wells (ER), Andrew Stearn (The West Wing), and Paul Abbott (Cracker), adapting Abbott's original Brit version, waste the talents of Macy, Joan Cusack, and Emmy Rossum (Mystic River), among others, and you'll waste your time straining to enjoy it.
  26. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 9, 2011
    25
    Shameless lives up to its title. What's left for the rest of the season? Cannibalism? Macy is a good sport about being dragged around the kitchen like dead weight.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 188 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 4 out of 33
  1. Oct 28, 2011
    10
    You will love this show, every character is his own world, from crazy, spaced out kids, to troublesome teenagers, to drunk and sexually twisted adults. Highly recommended, can't wait for season 2. Full Review »
  2. Sep 25, 2013
    10
    Very entertaining series that mixes drama with funny situations. I hope to continue with many more seasons, like Shemless UK, which has 11 seasons.
    William H. Macy, plays a great performance playing the drug addict and alcoholic Frank Gallagher
    Full Review »
  3. Mar 17, 2013
    0
    It was painful sitting through the Pilot, my friends told me it was so awesome and I feel completely let down. I kept telling myself maybe it will get better but it really didn't. I stomached maybe 20 minutes into the second episode and couldnt take anymore. Full Review »